Mario Villalobos

How to Be Batman

It’s past ten o’clock, and I haven’t written a word all day. I’m on my sixth beer, and I think I use drinking as an excuse to do things I’ve forbidden myself to do. Does anyone else do that? I recognize that this behavior is unacceptable, but I don’t want to do anything about it. I want to be bad, and I want to do things I forbade myself from doing. I think I’m done, though. I’m tired of not doing my work. Work was so fulfilling, and I miss feeling fulfilled. I don’t miss feeling desirous for more, though, where my soul yearned for something that I wasn’t giving myself. Which brings me back to square one.

How do we get back on that road we’re supposed to be on? Why do we fall, Bruce? So we can learn to pick ourselves up. That quote just came to my head. I’ve been on a Batman kick the past few weeks. It seems like I need Batman every few months. He’s great. If anything, he’s the closest thing to a role model I had growing up. He’s the quintessential self-made man. He doesn’t need superpowers to be a superhero. I need to feel like a superhero. How do we do that?

First thing first: find your Alfred. Alfred kept Batman in check. He kept him grounded and human, and whenever Batman needed to talk, Alfred was always there. They’re best friends and the closest thing they have to family. How many times have I yearned for something like that in these entries? A lot.

Second: fight for something. Batman fights crime. He trained his whole life to be the best he could be at doing that. He’s both strong and smart, and he’s committed to seeing this goal through. I know what I’m fighting for: to be the best writer I can be. Not the best writer ever, but the best I can be. There are a lot of things I think I need to do to get there, like reading voraciously and working out regularly, but it’s hard, especially when I don’t have my Alfred right now.

Last but not least: never give up. Do we ever see Batman give up? No! He gets into trouble, sure, but he always finds a way out of whatever predicament he’s in. He keeps fighting. This entry is a victory for me, even though I shat all over my regular routine and goals today. I could have drowned in booze and wallowed in self-pity, but I knew I needed to write. It’s not kicking some Joker ass or anything, but in my own way, it’s a victory. I’ve been fighting for 258 days, and that’s kind of amazing in and of itself.

Find your Alfred. Fight for something. Never give up. That’s how I think you become a superhero.